Alba Fucens | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Alba Fucens

Massa d'Albe, Abruzzo, Italy

About Alba Fucens

Alba Fucens has been described as an ‘archaeological jewel’ and it’s easy to see why. It is situated in a picturesque valley at the base of the 8,159ft Monte Velino in the Abruzzo region of central Italy and was a frontier town separating the Marsi and Equi tribes featured in ancient Rome’s early chapters but were defeated by the Romans in 303BC.

The thriving, prosperous town saw conflict during the Second Punic War (218BC – 201BC) and the Social War (91BC – 88BC) and held some very important state prisoners including Syphax of Numidia, Perseus of Macedonia and Bituitus, King of the Arverni before being totally destroyed by the Saracens in the 10th century.

While the history of Alba Fucens is utterly fascinating, what remains today for the 40,000 yearly visitors is equally as captivating. In the late 1940s, Belgian legal historian and architect Ferdinand de Visscher ‘gave himself with abandon’ to the archaeological conservation of Alba Fucens and amongst many stunning finds lie the remains of a magnificent amphitheatre commissioned by Praetorian prefect Naevius Macro (and today used for theatrical and musical performances), a macellum or marketplace and amazingly well-preserved fortification walls with a circuit of over 3km.

Visitors will also see thermal spas intricately decorated with marine-inspired mosaics, baths for men and women, the pagan chapel of Hercules, an ancient domus romana, counters and sinks of a wine bar, a sewage system (cloaca maxima) and the 12th century Church of San Pietro.